Spanish Fort’s Fresh Healthy Cafe focuses on wholesome, good food that promotes optimal health

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Photography by Travon Gibbs

Everything that Nicole Shipman has encountered in her life has prepared her for this most recent journey that she has embarked upon.

This Georgia girl was born and raised in Atlanta. After graduating from college she taught kindergarten and married Jason Shipman. The newlyweds relocated to Dothan, Alabama where they started their family and lived for eight years. With a longing to be closer to water, the couple began researching potential places to call home. They found the Eastern Shore and after a weekend visit, were sold. “Everything about the area was attractive”, says Nicole, “it’s a little country and a little cutting edge.”
After their second child was born, Nicole began working out. She became a certified Zumba instructor and also a certified personal trainer. These accomplishments are what began preparing her for what was just around the corner.

After a family trip to California, Nicole personally witnessed the abundant amount of quick-casual, healthy dining options available on the west coast, She began investigating business opportunities related to healthy eating. She was in search of a proven business model that was small but yet customizable. On the “up and coming” list she discovered FRESH, a Canadian based company that appealed to her personal requirements concerning nutrition.

She chose to support the local business community by using other local business folks when it came to needed services. She also personalized the interior to reflect the characteristics of our area describing the feel as “Southern Coastal Industrial Chic”. After the 19 month process, Nicole, with the support of her family, were thrilled to share her passion with the public.

Fresh Healthy Cafe opened this October in Spanish Fort. The restaurant sources and serves the freshest, highest-quality ingredients they can procure. All menu items completely customizable and include paninis, wraps, salads, power and protein bowls and even seasonal specials. An extensive line of freshly squeezed juices and pure and super smoothies are also offered. Their menu is quite extensive and includes vegetarian, vegan, dairy and gluten free options. Proteins include chicken breast, turkey breast, un’chicken, tofu and hummus. There are no beef products on the menu nor will you find mayonnaise, ketchup or mustard. They will also do their best to accommodate individuals with food allergies. With the start of the new year you might want to consider “reFRESH” – a fresh juice program designed to reset eating habits, support the body’s natural detoxification and kick start a healthy diet. More details are available in-store. Catering, platters and big salads are available for parties and special events. Make
plans to stop by and experience Fresh and see what every ”body” has been missing!

Fresh Healthy Cafe • 10184 Eastern Shore Blvd.• Spanish Fort • (251) 444-7170
www.freshrestaurants.com
Facebook “Fresh Spanish Fort” • Instagram “FreshHealthyCafe”

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Rootz – Fairhope’s new Nutrition Kitchen is giving people what they want and need

IMG_4335Tony Tkac is a medical professional who truly understands the process of disease. On a daily basis he specializes in emergency medicine and witnesses how diet and lifestyle contribute to one’s health. That along with his personal goals, spurred Tony’s desire to delve into the world of nutrition. All the research he did subsequently ignited his passion to not only further educate himself but others as well. His findings unveiled how food affects our bodies on a cellular level and that we as a people are basically nutrient starved.

Initially, Tkac began with the idea of a food truck but he knew he was going to need physical help with the day to day operation of such. With the help of Fairhope Fitness owner, Eddie Henry, Tony was connected with Ms. Sofia Fly and that set the wheels in motion for what is now in place.

Sofia grew up in this area and started cooking as a child when her Guatemalan mother presented her with a microwave cookbook. She perfected her egg making skills, then moved on to fudge and taffy in her own “kid kitchen”. Her first paying gig included learning how to roll sushi at Doug Kerr’s Dragonfly Cafe. “He really opened my eyes to a lot of cool culinary skills” says Fly. Sofia moved to Birmingham and was able to get her foot in the door with Frank Stitt at Chez Fonfon where she worked for five years. As an employee, she had access to his other restaurants, Highlands Bar & Grill and Botega. She immersed herself in learning French cuisine and enjoyed recreating dishes at home that incorporated her own touch. Sofia lived and worked on and off in Birmingham for thirteen years which included time spent learning Thai cuisine from Nepali owners at Surin West and a two year stint in Hawaii. When Sofia started working for Whole Foods her interest and attitude about food and nutrition shifted. She has always wanted her own business. When she moved back to Fairhope, she started teaching cooking classes on an individual basis and by word of mouth became quite busy as a private instructor and chef.

As soon as Sofia and Tony met they became fast friends. For the past 18 months Tony has been physically building out the space and everything else for their concept, Rootz – Fresh Local Eats. Their recently opened Nutrition Kitchen in Fairhope has been designed to get people back to their roots. In addition to educating the public, these two individuals wish to provide the healthiest food in the most convenient manner.

Rootz uses local farms, sustainably grown produce and Sofia can accommodate any special dietary need. The foods and beverages contain no processed sugar and everything that is prepared contains ten ingredients or less.

The menu varies from week to week but Rootz offers a variety of prepared eggs, muffins, bowls, wraps, parfaits, burgers, salads and soups. Protein choices include fish, shrimp, grass finished beef, pasture raised chicken and pasture raised eggs. They also prepare
sides, sweets and snacks from the freshest ingredients possible. You can drink your nutrients with a variety of cold pressed juices, nut milks, Kombucha on tap, coffee, tea and flavored water.

The hours of operation are Monday and Tuesday, 7am until 5pm and Wednesday and Thursday, 9am until 7pm. Tony and Sofia invite you to open your mind and your stomach and join them in the quest to choose a healthier lifestyle for a better quality of life and longevity.

Rootz • 209 A South Section Street • Fairhope • (251) 270-7120
www.EatRootz.com • Facebook “Rootz”